Buff-breasted Sandpiper Life History


Habitat GrasslandsBreeds in dry, grassy tundra. On migration and in winter found in dry grasslands (usually short grass), pastures, plowed fields and, rarely, mudflats.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:2-5 eggs
Condition at Hatching:Active and covered with down.
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Behavior Ground ForagerBack to top


Conservation DecliningBuff-breasted Sandpiper populations once numbered in the hundreds of thousands to millions, but by the 1920s hunting had brought this species close to extinction. Once regulations were put in place, numbers increased, but they appear to be declining again. Because these birds do not always return to the same breeding and wintering sites, numbers are difficult to monitor, but data from migration sites in North American migration sites estimate the current population at 16,000-84,000 individuals. This species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action.Back to top


McCarty, John P., L. LaReesa Wolfenbarger, C. D. Laredo, Peter Pyle and R. B. Lanctot. (2017). Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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